Indiana University Northwest
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Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

What is Anthropology?

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the broad study of humankind around the world and throughout time. It is concerned with both the biological and the cultural aspects of humans. Included in anthropology are four main subdivisions:

Physical Anthropology

Mechanisms of biological evolution, genetic inheritance, human adaptability and variation, primatology, and the fossil record of human evolution

Cultural Anthropology

Culture, ethnocentrism, cultural aspects of language and communication, subsistence and other economic patterns, kinship, sex and marriage, socialization, social control, political organization, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, and culture change

Archaeology

Prehistory and early history of cultures around the world; major trends in cultural evolution; and techniques for finding, excavating, dating, and analyzing material remains of past societies

Linguistic Anthropology

The human communication process focusing on the importance of socio-cultural influences; nonverbal communication; and the structure, function, and history of languages, dialects, pidgins, and creoles.